Developing People
Diversity Initiatives

Komatsu recognizes diversity as a significant corporate advantage, Komatsu respects the basic human rights of every employee and strives to offer career development opportunities that enable each individual to fully demonstrate their abilities with a sense of fulfillment and pride.


   Kuniko Urano
   Senior Executive Officer,
   General Manager, Human Resources Department

— Please tell us the background to Komatsu’s initiatives regarding diversity.


For example, in the B to C model of business “products that make the most of the viewpoint of women” could be part of diversity. But products like construction equipment are used in specific types of work sites, and in general many of the customers and operators are men. This makes it more difficult to bring out the concept of gender diversity in such a way.

However, for Komatsu that recognizes “people are an irreplaceable assets”, diversity is an issue that needs to be continually addressed—unrelated to business performance—and this was made clear in last year’s CSR report. The thing that I most want is for Komatsu’s employees to think, “I am glad to be working for Komatsu”, not just from a financial standpoint but also from the aspect of general well-being. In order to achieve this, we have worked on various measures to support the work-life balance of employees and for fair employment. We want to be a company that can respond in a flexible way by not getting caught up in stereotypes but by taking into consideration social change and individual circumstances.

However, a company cannot survive by merely being a “Good Company”. In order to be a “Strong Company”, in other words, a company that is able to maintain competitiveness and continued development, we want to make diversity our strength.

— What does it actually look like to make diversity a strength?


Current technology and values are changing at an amazing speed. This means you cannot respond to change by doing business with only certain people within the company or a special category of people as in the past. In order to pick up on the needs that the customers themselves haven’t yet realized and connect it to the next business idea, it is necessary to think differently than before. This is where diversity becomes necessary. This is the same reason Komatsu is proactively working on open innovation, and here also it becomes necessary to work with people who have unique ideas and characteristics. There are some who say “Diversity is conflict” and there certainly are conflicts that rise from having differences in values. However, that is where active debates occur, which in turn produces the “Dantotsu (unique and unrivaled)”power.

— In view of incorporating various values, from this year the 5 national heads of the overseas subsidiaries (non-Japanese executives) became Komatsu’s executive officers and 17 national heads (of which 5 serve concurrently as executive officers) became global officers.


Komatsu’s globalization has moved from the localization of sales and manufacturing to the localization of management since the 90s. We have promoted many of our full-fledged locally hired employees who understand the values of the KOMATSU Way to top management positions, and currently all of our major overseas subsidiaries except Russia, Brazil and India have local nationals as top executives. It can be said that the localization of management has progressed.

In order for Komatsu to go one step further as a global business, I think it is necessary to emphasize diversity in management and execution of operations. This time, we will have executive officers and global officers from overseas to think about not only the operations in their own countries but of Komatsu Group as a whole. In this way we hope to bring global values into decision-making for business strategies and human resources strategy, and promote diversity in the management levels by emphasizing the training of locally-hired employees who have the potential to lead the next generation for upper levels of management.

— Next tell us about women empowerment that was legislated in Japan in April of this year.


We have worked towards the goal of having 5% of management be women (Komatsu Ltd.) by April 2016. The actual result was 4.6% and did not reach the goal, but setting a number and aiming high is what makes it possible to work on even the most detailed policies. Going forward, targets will be set for employee ratio, hiring ratio, and management ratio to aim for an increase in the ratio of women.

For example, in looking at the new graduate hires for engineers, until now it was mainly from mechanical fields where male students dominate in numbers. However, with products and services becoming increasingly ICT based in Komatsu, personnel from the science and information technology fields will also become important. There are plenty of female students in these fields, so we can hope for an increased ratio in female hires.

We are also devising ways to make it easier for women to work at the manufacturing sites. Making the tough jobs easier—such as introducing equipment to handle heavy items—makes for a work environment that is better, not only for women but for all employees as well.

— In order to increase the number of women in management, isn’t it necessary to have more initiatives than there have been so far?


As mentioned before, once the ratio of women increases after addressing the issues in each job category, it will be necessary to make it possible for women to continue in their career even through life events such as marriage and child bearing.

In order to do that, particularly in the present transitional period, we are holding training sessions for women who are one or two steps away from management level positions, to help them think about their career plan. Being given work with some responsibility often leads people to experience a lot of personal growth and find joy in their work. We are hoping that if women employees have such experiences before going through life events, it will motivate them to continue pursuing their careers.


Aside from this, Komatsu has continued with other initiatives for diversity, such as actively promoting the “Business Creation Center” (BCC) where persons with disabilities are employed as permanent staff to work at manufacturing sites and in the offices, as well as promoting the re-hiring of retired people to have them make good use of their cumulative experience.

In society there are people who have various characteristics and conditions that cannot be lumped together. We are conscious that creating a work environment where the LGBT population can work comfortably is also an issue that must not be forgotten. We will continue to work on diversity as a way of being both a “good company” and a “strong company”.

Promoting Women’s Careers

Approach and Goals

Komatsu is actively promoting various measures such as proactive employment and development of women as well as creating an environment where women can maintain a career after child bearing. With the 3 year mid-range management plan “Together We Innovate GEMBA Worldwide: Growth Toward Our 100th Anniversary (2021) and Beyond” which started in April this year, we have set and begun working towards the goal of having a ratio of women in management of 7% by April 2018 and 10% by April 2021.

Systems and Status in FY2015

From FY2015, as measures for the development of women employees, the CDP (Career Development Program) was fully implemented. This provides career plan training which includes thinking about future careers and ways of working, as well as discussing mid-term career goals with their supervisors. We are also working on creating an environment that makes it easier for women to work, such as introducing and establishing the system for working from home in FY2014 as a flexible way to work, and providing a childcare service at the KOMATSU Way Global Institute located in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, so that employees who have children can participate.
Also, in order to have female students searching for jobs to get well acquainted with Komatsu, we are being proactive in hiring activities for women such as discussion meetings for each job category, holding career and networking events in cooperation with outside groups and schools for women engineers.
In terms of external recognition, Komatsu was selected again this year for the second time in a row as a Nadeshiko Brand company by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Tokyo Stock Exchange as a listed company that excels in promoting career development for women. The commendation noted the number of women in managerial positions at Komatsu, including executive officers, and the company's work-life balance initiative for actively promoting employee childcare and nursing care leaves regardless of gender.

 Nadeshiko Brand logo


FY2014 FY2015 FY2016
Number (ratio) of women employed 1,050(10.3%) 1,091(10.5%) 1,239(11.5%)
Number (ratio) of women in management positions 55(3.5%) 64(4.0%) 80(4.6%)
Number (ratio) of women in executive positions 2(4.7%) 2(4.7%) 2(4.2%)
Number (ratio) of women hired 32(15.0%) 20(10.9%) 29(18.3%)

* All based on Komatsu (non-consolidated). The number employed and the ratio is of new college graduates, data as of April 1.

Promoting Globalized Management

Approach and Goals

Komatsu has placed top priority on localized management and is developing locally-hired employees into business leaders who will be able to hold top management positions at overseas subsidiaries. Local nationals take leadership positions at our major subsidiaries. For situations where Japanese managers still hold the top local post, our goal is to develop local candidates to whom the baton of executive leadership can be gradually passed. To this end, the primary role of staff with extensive experience at Komatsu (commonly Japanese) provide in communicating the KOMATSU Way—Komatsu's approach to management, technology and skills—in overseas locations and serve as a bridge between Komatsu in Japan and subsidiaries overseas.

Systems and Status in FY2015

Human Resource Development

Since FY2006, Global Management Seminars have been conducted annually for local nationals in executive positions at overseas subsidiaries to present and discuss information including Komatsu's management policies, the KOMATSU Way and business strategies. In FY2015, the seminar was held in July with the participation of 11 executives representing subsidiaries in 9 countries: United States, Chile, Brazil, Italy, Sweden, Russia, China, Indonesia, and Australia. The overall objective has been to deepen understanding of the KOMATSU Way based on Komatsu's corporate history, and of the company's approach to production, marketing and development, so that participants will be able to clearly convey the information in “their own words”.
We also provide Global Management Training for selected employees to develop executive candidates capable of holding global leadership roles. About 10 general managers in Japan and top managers at overseas subsidiaries with potential are selected every year for enrollment in short-term courses at international business schools. In FY2015, 10 individuals attended training at business schools in the United States, England, France and Switzerland.

Management System

In order to effectively promote global management, Komatsu runs various global meetings, including the Komatsu Global Executive Meeting convened for the top management of all Komatsu Group companies in Japan and overseas, management committees for each region and business area, and other meetings for specific purposes, such as the Quality Meeting; Occupational Safety, Health & Environmental Affairs Meeting; and Legal Meeting.
Also, for even further development, from FY2016, a Global Officer System—composed of executives of the main overseas subsidiaries—will be established. In addition to appointing top management personnel from the main overseas subsidiaries as executive officers, 14 of them will be appointed as executive officers who are to participate in Komatsu’s important meeting body.


Overall Non-Japanese
Number of Executive Officers 53 5
Number of Global Officers 26 17

* As of April 1, 2016

Employing Persons with Disabilities

Approach and Goals

Komatsu actively seeks to employ persons with disabilities across the Group. Our goal is to achieve an employment ratio of 2.3% on a consolidated basis (the current statutory employment ratio is 2.0%) for the Group in Japan by April 2018.
In April 2008, Komatsu established the Business Creation Center (BCC) within the Human Resources Department in Japan as a dedicated organizational entity for promoting the hiring of persons with disabilities. Persons with mental or developmental disabilities are employed by the BCC in nine business units in japan. Advisors are assigned to each business unit to provide training and advice on daily tasks. Each BCC staff member meets with an advisor every six months to discuss goals, instead of simply handling a delimited set of tasks. Linking salary to individual performance assessments, we encourage employees with disabilities to work on their goals toward achieving independence and self-reliance.
Through these efforts Komatsu is not merely focused on achieving a targeted employment ratio; it is seeking to create a workplace that provides a sense of fulfillment for all individuals, and where employees with disabilities work alongside other staff members.

Status in FY2016

As of April 2016, the employment ratio of persons with disabilities is 2.63% (Komatsu Ltd.). As for BCC, there are 98 people working at 9 business units. With the expansion of its organization, BCC has taken on matters that had previously been outsourced, as well as tasks that had been taking up time and effort internally, and thereby contributed to the efficiency and cost cutting for the company as a whole.


FY2014 FY2015 FY2016
Employment ratio of persons with disabilities 2.50% 2.58% 2.63%
Number of BCC locations 9 9 9
Number of BCC staff members 88 94 98

* Data is for Komatsu Ltd. As of April 1st.

Promoting Hiring of Retired Employees

Approach and Goals

As the aging of Japanese society accelerates, Komatsu is committed to maintaining its efforts to hire more elderly workers.
Komatsu(non-consolidate) introduced a re-employment program in 2006 and revised this system from April 2013 so that as a general rule all those who desire to do so can work until the age of 65. We also established a Second Career Support Program for employees who are up to 65 years old and were able to find new careers, and we provide training opportunities, paid leaves and monetary aid.


FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
Number of retired employees 143 178 207
Number of retired employees who were rehired by Group companies 118 157 159